All hell broke loose in the sixth inning of Saturday’s 6-5 win over the Cleveland Indians when Yankees manager Aaron Boone, outfielder Brett Gardner and pitcher CC Sabathia, who was not on the active roster, were all ejected from the game.
The chaotic scene began when outfielder Cameron Maybin was called out on strikes on a pitch that was off the plate by home plate umpire Ben May — who is typically a Triple-A ump.
Maybin argued the call and Boone soon followed in an animated fashion. Things appeared to simmer down before Boone returned to the field for another go at it with May, drawing crew chief umpire Tom Hallion at second base to come in and try to calm things down as Boone was ejected.
As this was going on, Brett Gardner began banging his bat on the dugout roof — a new, familiar habit for the 35-year-old veteran this season.
First base umpire Phil Cuzzi ran over to the dugout and ejected Gardner for his bat antics. Sabathia, who was at the top of the dugout taking exception to Cuzzi’s decision, was also ejected.
Gardner ran onto the field to argue his ejection and had to be held back by several coaches.
This was the second time in eight days in which Gardner’s bat antics have led to his ejection. On Aug. 9 in a game against the Toronto Blue Jays, the outfielder was ejected after the home plate umpire believed he had cursed him out. When Gardner argued he did not say anything, they cited he was banging his bat on the dugout roof.
Gardner also did the same thing on July 18 when Boone was ejected for during his viral “savages” rant.
The Yankees outfielder maintains that what he does in the dugout should not warrant an ejection.
“It’s kind of crazy to be honest,” Gardner told reporters after the game. “I got ejected for hitting the top of the dugout with my bat; making too much noise, I guess. I wasn’t too happy about it. I didn’t feel like what I did warranted an ejection."
Boone said afterward he believes the umpires are seeking out Gardner’s bat antics, but Gardner said he has not been directed by anyone in the league that it is illegal.
“He threw me out. I asked him why,” Gardner said. “Nobody has told me that I can’t do that. Nobody has told me that I can’t make noise. I didn’t direct anything at anyone. I didn’t say anything. Unfortunate explanation.”
Boone added that the Yankees would “work closely with the commissioner's office and find out what's acceptable and not” to avoid further ejections.
Gardner said it would be bad for baseball if they were to prohibit him from showing his emotion in the dugout.
“I guess if we're trying to make the game fun again, like a lot of guys say the last few years -- I don't think you want all the guys sitting in the dugout not being able to say anything or make any noise or anything like that," Gardner said. "That wouldn't be too much fun. I'm not saying what I did was right...But I probably wouldn't do it again tomorrow.”